Don’t Forget to Clean Your Smartphone

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Smartphones and tablets are also a source for carrying germs. During the COVID-19 crisis we’ve heard all about the importance of washing our hands for at least 20-seconds, disinfecting high contact surfaces, and we’ve literally depleted the supply of hand sanitizers before they can be placed on the shelves. But what about your smartphone and tablets?

Think about the places you take your device and where you put it down. Many people even use their device while in the bathroom. Think about that.

Here are some general steps to follow; however, first be sure to check the cleaning instructions provided by your device manufacturer.

  1. Wash your hands before you pick it up whenever feasible.
  2. Turn the device off and unplug it from its power source.
  3. Find a microfiber (soft) cloth and make a warm soapy mixture of water and dishwashing soap.
  4. Lightly dampen the cloth with the soapy water, squeezing out any excess.
  5. Gently wipe down your smartphone and avoid getting moisture in the port openings.
  6. Be sure the device is completely dry before turning it back on or re-attaching to a power source.

Most manufacturers suggest that you can disinfect your phone by wiping the hard surfaces with 70% isopropyl alcohol as long as no moisture gets into the port openings. However, once again check with your device manufacturer. There is no need to purchase expensive wipes. The rubbing alcohol that you purchase at the pharmacy is typically 70% alcohol and will work fine.

  • Use on soft, lint-free cloths, and avoid using paper towels which can scratch the glass.
  • Unplug before you clean.
  • Do not spray liquid chemicals directly onto your device.
  • Avoid bleaches or other household cleaning products.
  • Wash your hands more and check your phone less to minimize the spread of germs and bacteria.

Sonya G. Patterson, MS., Ed.

Family & Consumer Sciences
N.C. Cooperative Extension of Caswell County